I’ve written rock romances before, but this is my first series. I really enjoyed following the four characters throughout and watching them each shine in their own book. They have very distinctive personalities, backgrounds, and even their fashion senses contrast dramatically.
ROCKED BY LOVE is about the bassist, Raphael Santiago, or Rafe. He is a little unusual for a rock star, I guess, as he is highly educated and a bit more sophisticated than the rest of the crew. He is the only child of a high-power, but down-to-earth couple. His mom is a surgeon and his father is an architect. Rafe’s high school years were spent attending a private school in St. Louis, but he never lost touch with his Stanton, Missouri buds. Moving from a small rural town to a big city may have been difficult for some, but his charm and intelligence, along with all the experiences he garnered travelling abroad with his parents, prepared him well for the elite Catholic high school he attended. He is the conservative, even-keeled voice of reason for the band, but inside he is swamped with remorse. When Just Short of Chaos first hit the scene, Rafe was introduced to the world of drugs by one of his rock mentors. Rafe is haunted by the night his friend, Just Short of Chaos’s drummer, Devin Moore, overdosed within feet of him. Zane, the lead singer, blames Rafe for Devin’s death, and Rafe’s guilt makes that accusation ring true, so he never bothers to tell his side of the story.
But ROCKED BY LOVE starts with Rafe jumping into the crowd at one of his concerts to defend a woman from her abusive boyfriend. He also saves the woman’s cousin, Mia Love, who has jumped in to defend her. But when Rafe asks Mia backstage after the concert, he gets a surprising response.
Now, Rafe, as rock stars are wont to do, sabotages his relationship with Mia. The scene I’m about to share with you is my favorite from this book, and on the top ten most fun scenes I’ve written. After Rafe and Mia go their separate ways, Mia leaving after Rafe is a jerk to her, they run into each other again at a diner where Mia is working. Mia’s cousin Freddie, not really knowing the full story behind the breakup, knows enough to understand that Rafe hurt Mia. Although he is a scrawny, somewhat nerdy, guy, he challenges Rafe to a fight to defend Mia. I chopped the scene up a bit so I can give you the meat of it.
A skinny guy with unruly curly hair approached from behind her and took her arms. “We won’t be serving him, Judy.”
I was dumbfounded.
“Mr. Santiago, my name is Freddie Love. I’m Mia’s cousin—” He focused on a point over my head. “—and I’d like for you to step outside in the alley so I can kick your ass.”
I struggled to keep from laughing. The kid weighed maybe a hundred thirty pounds, wore glasses, and had droopy shoulders. I would annihilate him. “Fine.”
His gaze dropped to my face for the first time and he gulped. “Okay, then.” He spun and marched off…
This had to be the most upscale alley I’d ever seen. As people filed past Freddie, they slapped him on the shoulder with a “go get ’em” or a “you’ve got this.” No one slapped me on the shoulder or did anything other than glare at me with contempt. I was really building Just Short of Chaos’ fan base… Had I known I would let someone beat the shit out of me today I would have worn shoes with traction instead of dress shoes, but one doesn’t always have a warning about these things.
Seeing I was ready, Freddie raised his fists in the most awkward fighting stance I had ever seen, his arms held in front of him, instead of tucked in, leaving him pretty much unprotected should I go for a face or body shot. And he kept having to push his glasses in place. I think the poor kid had worked up such a nervous sweat the bridge of his nose was like an icy ski slope. I inwardly rolled my eyes. This was what my life had come to. Street brawls with science fair blue-ribbon winners. Well, if I was going to bait the kid into hitting me, I guess I would have to come in pretty close, as he hung back waiting for me to start things. I drew closer, automatically getting set to fight, weight balanced, fists high and close, chin tucked in some. I had to consciously open my arms to give him room to hit me. I took a loose swing, purposely missing by a foot and giving him a shot. He weaved away, dodging even though the punch was not in range. This would be a challenge.
After a few more lopsided swings he didn’t take advantage of, somebody yelled. “Ya gotta punch him if you want to beat him up, Freddie.”
I felt sorry for the guy. It was cute and heartwarming that, although he was terrified, he was willing to do what he needed to do to defend his cousin. The first shot he took he pegged me decently, and I began to think I underestimated the kid until I heard his “oww!” and saw him shaking his fist to ease the pain he caused himself. A few people chuckled, but I glared them into silence. Were they cheering the kid on or hoping to see him pummeled?
That’s all I can share today, but I love the rest of the scene, too. If you want to find out who comes out on top of this little fisticuff, pick yourself up a copy today. Book One, ROCKED BY GRACE, is on sale for just 99¢ right now, too. (The books are standalones, but it’s more enjoyable if you’re familiar with the characters.) To celebrate its release day, I’ll give away a copy of ROCKED BY LOVE to two random commenters. Here’s a blurb to give you a little bit more information…
When rock star Raphael Santiago comes to the defense of reporter Mia Love’s cousin, things heat up in this sizzling, new romance from bestselling author, M.J. Schiller.
Rock star Raphael Santiago is haunted by the night his friend Devin died. Maybe because there’s something that no one knows about the overdose. But when he jumps in the crowd to defend a woman at one of his concerts, he finds he doesn’t want to keep the secret from her.
Mia was a tight little ball of fire, and I was made of combustible material. She misunderstood my intentions the night we met, but I was given an opportunity to explain the next day. I wish that was our only miscommunication, but when I discovered she’d written an inflammatory article about Just Short of Chaos, I thought she was using me to get a story. The hurt that caused made me say some nasty things. Now I may have lost her forever.
Mia Love doesn’t know if Rafe is truly interested in her, or if she is merely a new plaything for him.
Oh, there was definitely a heat between us from day one. Sometimes volatile, sometimes scorching in a good way. But I’d been burnt before and I was stronger now. No way was I going to let a rock star break my heart.
When fate throws them together again, things really start to heat up.
But will they figure out how to control their passions or will their love story end in ashes?
BUY ROCKED BY LOVE
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rocked-by-love-m-j-schiller/1138588074?ean=2940162791737
Bestselling author M.J. Schiller is a retired lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-six-year-old and three twenty-four-year-olds. That's right, triplets! She likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.
Here’s where you can find me. I’d love to hear from you!